On Sundays after church, Myrtle Zachary-Jackson’s family of cooks and bakers gathered to make meals for one another. Her elders rarely used recipes, so Myrtle had to study every step until she could replicate their dishes herself. Just as her grandparents and aunts imbued her with a passion for baking, she inspired her daughters, Andrea and Rosharon, to start cooking at a young age. When Myrtle decided to open Not Jus Donuts Bakery in 2000, she turned to her daughters and grandchildren for help in re-creating their family recipes, by then some five or six generations old.
Sticking to tradition, every dessert at Not Jus Donuts is made from scratch. The ladies crack every farm-fresh egg by hand before whipping up cheesecakes with Philadelphia cream cheese, cookies baked fresh daily, hand-decorated cupcakes, and exquisitely designed cake balls and cake pops. Made without preservatives, their cakes range from standard sheet cakes to 3-D creations designed to resemble bowling balls and turntables and 8-D cakes shaped like time itself.
La Blanca Cafe caters to folks whose sudden cravings for Latin American cuisine requires a fast fix. Staffers dish up all the favorites, including freshly made empanadas, street tacos, and oversized burritos. They also craft lomito sandwiches, piling french bread with savory mounds of steak, spicy pork, and authentic condiments such as chimichurri and pico de gallo. Beer, wine, and sangria are also available for refreshing pairings.
The midtown cafe cultivates an eclectic neighborhood vibe by showcasing work from area artists and hosting live performances from local musicians on a second-story, open-air deck. If hungry regulars are unable to swing by the actual cafe, they can keep their eyes peeled for the restaurant's food truck, which frequents a variety of spots around Houston.
When it comes to preserving the integrity of their wines, the owners of 13 Celsius don’t mess around. The proof is in the name, which alludes to the exact temperature maintained in their wine cellar at all times. This climate-controlled cellar is only one aspect of a meticulous process designed to preserve the wines at peak flavor until they are ready to be paired with cheeses, charcuterie, paninis, and handmade truffles.
Given this near-obsession with preservation, it should come as no surprise that the building itself hasn’t lost any of its charms since opening in the 1920s. The Mediterranean–style architectural relic preserves several key components of its jazz-era past, including an entirely intact tin ceiling and an open-air courtyard, along with several modern additions such as a 40-foot marble bar and sound.